Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taj Mahal Travel SWAP - New Look 6778 Dress

Since someone stole my camera, now's a good time to honor its service by catching up with pics & pattern reviews. Apologies for the hanger pics -- obviously I can't take pics of myself in the pieces now.

I've fallen into a rut of sewing primarily for our occasional vacations. It's fun to have new stuff for vacation, and sometimes when I buy fabrics, I see myself wearing them to certain places.

Vacation is also a great time to wear colors and patterns I wouldn't wear during regular daily life.

For our spring 2009 trip to India, I needed lightweight, easily washable clothes to pull out of the suitcase and throw on. This being my third trip there, I knew to expect no irons and expect my clothes to be treated harshly if laundered. So I chose fabrics where I wouldn't be crushed if they got faded or "unintentionally altered" to put it nicely.

New Look 6778 was the namesake dress of this travel SWAP:

Pattern Description
Simple spaghetti or ribbon strap dress. Wear alone or over a T or tank. Knee and mid-calf length. For wovens or knits. Very current gathering detail at chest.

Pattern Sizing

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes. I sewed view C to wear over a T-shirt or tank.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Envelope says Easy, and they were indeed easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the potential quick construction if you use a knit and no zipper. With knit fabric, it's possible to pull this on with no zipper.

I should have cut the back as one piece without the center seam and zipper. My fabric is stretchy enough to pull on without a zipper. But beyond that reason, the center seam messed up the flow of the diagonal fabric pattern. Ugh!!! I called G Street to see if they had more of this fabric and if they could ship just 1 yard or even less as emergency, but they were sold out. So I must now live with this error.

Here's why I rated this "Recommend, with Modifications" -- I dislike how the pattern calls for numerous little disjointed pieces for the bound armhole and strap. I think using self fabric for the arm binding and the spaghetti strap in two different pieces, as the directions call for, could turn out looking very homemade. For those who want binding and spaghetti strap, why not cut and apply them as one single long piece? Instead of binding the armhole, I simply turned and stitched. I used grosgrain ribbon for the strap.

Fabric Used
Polyester knit with nubby texture, but still lightweight, from G Street's Rockford store. As soon as I saw this paisley fabric, I knew it would be worn to the Taj Mahal. I tested fabric layout options in Photoshop before cutting, to visualize how the final product would look. I chose the bias layout, but that's hard to tell in the finished dress photos.

I used celadon ribbon accent from G Street notions for upper chest contrast, and to pick up on celadon color in the fabric. Instead of trying to sew two rows of straight stitching as well as risk much puckering, I used novelty stitch down the center of the ribbon.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
-- Used grosgrain ribbon for the straps instead of self-fabric.
-- Turned and stitched the armholes instead of binding.
-- Did not hem because my fabric is a knit and won't ravel, and it hangs nicely without the extra bulk of hemming.
-- I laid the pattern out so that the top edge, above the ribbon, is selvedge. The fabric's selvedge has a nice edge and I wanted to feature it.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, next time out of a woven. And, yes.

Styling note: I wore the dress with the chunky coppery chain link coin purse shown in photo. It clinked, clanged and chimed as if I were wearing a wristful of bangles.

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